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Lansing City Council Gives OK To Proposed Casino

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LANSING (WWJ/AP) - The Lansing City Council has voted to move forward with a proposed $245 million tribal casino in Michigan’s capital city.

The council approved plans 7-1 related to the Kewadin Lansing development, according to the Lansing State Journal.

The vote allows the city to sell property to the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and approves agreements that would govern the project.

Plans for the casino were announced in January. Backers say it would create jobs and help improve the city.

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero has said the casino would bring an estimated 2,200 union jobs, as well as generate $5 million to $6 million annually for the “Lansing Promise” — a college scholarship fund for area students.

The  125,000-square-foot casino would be adjacent to the Lansing Convention Center, and would offer up to 3,000 slot machines and 48 gambling tables.

The plans are opposed by Gov. Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette, who sent a letter to the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe, saying the state would take “whatever steps are necessary” to prevent the casino from opening.

Other American Indian tribes that separately operate casinos in Mount Pleasant and near Battle Creek have also voiced their opposition.

Michigan has more than two dozen casinos, most of which are owned and operated by tribes.

TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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